By: Rowan Wolf of Uncommon Thought Journal
I must say that I felt like screaming or vomiting or both upon reading Tom Regan’s CSM article “Cheney Confirms Use of Waterboarding.” It discusses a radio interview that VP Cheney did with WDAY Radio in Fargo, N.D. on 10/24/06. Cheney came out in support of waterboarding as an effective technique to protect the country.
The host, Scott Hennen, prompted Cheney into the topic by saying that his listeners wanted to let Cheney know that “if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we’re all for it, if it saves American lives.” Cheney went on to say that Khalid Sheik Mohammed had given “valuable” information under torture, and it reported that he was waterboarded. In fact, the article states that Mohammed gained the “admiration” of his interrogators because he lasted for 2 1/2 minutes before “begging to confess.” A big deal since the average CIA agent only lasts about 14 seconds.
This is from the official transcript of Cheney’s interview as posted on the White House website:
Q Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It’s a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President “for torture.” We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we’re party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that.
And thanks to the leadership of the President now, and the action of the Congress, we have that authority, and we are able to continue to program
That “authority” springs from the recently passed Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Cheney is also reported to be loudly supportive of removing all limitations on torture.
This is sick and wrong in so many ways, not the least of which that torture does not give “valuable” information. It generally gives unreliable information because people will say anything that the interrogators want to get the torture to stop.
One has to wonder how effective torture would be on the VP to say get him to reveal information regarding is highly secretive “energy commission.” We do know that Tom Lay was there, but he is beyond all human torture now. Beyond that, the White House has maintained the veil of secrecy and “national security.”
I am sure that tapes are made of all of these “interrogations” of “high value” targets. “High value” target like the Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was renditioned to Syria for “interrogation” because he was assumed to be a “terrorist?” He is totally innocent by the way, and is now suing the United States.
Will “valuable information” flow from the innocent as well as those who actually are involved in terrorist activity? The Bush administration seems to think so as they make no distinction between a “suspect” and a “terrorist.” Being swept up is all the proof they need. That’s why in their omnipotence, there are no needs for legal protections, or even trials. Further, all of their information is so good that they don’t even need to present it to “prove” one is “guilty.”
The whole thing is just sick and perverted. The fact that there are people in the US who buy this is necessary and appropriate raises grave questions about the nation as far as I am concerned.
Perhaps I am just strange. I was abused as a child. I remember being beaten and strangled to get me to “confess” to things I did not do. Sometimes I did “confess,” and sometimes I just remained silent under the hope that my foster mother really would kill me so I didn’t have to live in that situation any more. I never did any of the things I “confessed” to. But that really didn’t matter, because that was not the point. I have a strong suspicion that is the case with torture in general. It truly is not about getting information. It is about degradation, fear, and power. It is about terrorizing others who might fall into your hands. Interrogators know that torture does not get them reliable information. So there must be some other purpose for doing it.
Those among the masses who support the “torture the bastards” approach, have watched to much glamorization of the macho successfulness of the “technique” on TV. The tortured will “tell” you things. However, figuring out what is true and what is not is a whole different issue.
Given Cheney’s rabid support of torture, one has to wonder at his interests. Do duplicates go to the Cheney’s to watch for evening entertainment? Perhaps this is his version of “reality TV?”